New Covid Restrictions Update

With the new Covid 19 restrictions for Ontario, which include a max of 5 for outdoor gatherings, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is herewith suspending all group hikes until further notice, effective Jan. 14, 2021.  The work involved in planning multiple hikes for small groups is just too complex to organize. A lot of work goes into planning a hike, sending the announcements, pre-registrations, documenting attendees for contact tracing, etc.  In addition, we are encouraged to STAY HOME, except for essential travel and exercise. We encourage you to still go out for exercise, locally, with your household members, or a small group of hiking friends, of course observing Covid protocols.  Over the years, we have shown you the great places to hike, ski or snowshoe, many of them close to your home.  So go and enjoy what winter has to offer, but do it on your own or in small groups.
Stay safe, and happy hiking.
Frieda Baldwin, President, Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. Ph 705-245-1005

Frieda on Parking

We would like our hikers to be aware that some municipalities have parking restrictions in winter, some even till noon, to allow snowplows to clear the roads.
This may affect morning hikers, such as when parking at the entrances to the Ganaraska Hiking Trail or a local forest.  Below is a summary of the parking restrictions in some of the Simcoe County municipalities:
Tay Twp: from Nov 15 – April 1 restricted parking  3:00 am to 12:00 noon
Midland from Nov 15 – April 1 restricted parking 12:00 midnight to 7:00 am
Penetanguishene from Nov 1 – April 1 restricted parking from 1:00 am to 7:00 am
Tiny & Oro Medonte Twps: from October 15 – April 30.  If there is a heavy snowfall in either of these townships the expectation is that the roads will be clear for snow removal.  If not, you could be subject to a fine.
We also learned that in some municipalities snowplow operators can actually ticket cars that are parked illegally.
Stay safe out there!

Frieda Baldwin Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.  705-245-1005

Updates from Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.

The Publicity Officer position has now been filled. We are thankful to Alana Boulay, a member of the Barrie Club, who currently runs the Facebook Group as well as the Barrie Facebook Page, for stepping up and offering to take care of the Association Facebook Page as well. 

I also wanted to thank Karen Bernardo for all her efforts with respect to creating a  social media presence for the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association and its clubs. This  has – no doubt – paid off in additional memberships and followers, which is what we were hoping to achieve. 


Also, as of January 1 the role of president for the Barrie Ganaraska Hiking Club will transfer to Liz Erwin. John Sloan’s role within the club will change to Director / Past President of the Barrie Ganaraska Hiking Club. He will also continue in his role as Director – Trails and Landowner Relations for the Association.  Thanks to Liz for taking on this responsibility.  Liz Irwin (705) 792-6181 or lizerwin@rogers.com

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005

Wanted, Social Media Volunteer

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is looking for a volunteer to take on the role of Publicity Officer. Our current volunteer did a great job on establishing a following on social media and promoting the organization. Unfortunately, she has had to resign for personal reasons.  So we are looking for a volunteer who will be responsible for our social media efforts: – regular postings on the Association Facebook page – respond to Association Facebook enquiries – support, if needed, for the other volunteers who administer the club Facebook pages and the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Facebook Group  – provide a short bi-annual social media update for the board of directors If interested in volunteering for this position, please contact Frieda Baldwin at president@ganaraska-hiking-trail.org. Thanks for considering this position.

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005

New Covid Restrictions

Following the new Covid restrictions, issued by the Ontario Government yesterday, which are effective Dec 26, 2020, we must limit our group hikes to 10 individuals, at least until January 24, 2021. Actually, we have confirmation from our local health unit that we can “gather” for hikes in parks, at trail heads, etc. as long as we adhere to public health measures (2 m social distancing, masking as needed), and stay within our own communities. 
Carpooling is as expected still not allowed (unless with members of your own household).  Note: there is no longer a reference in the regulations about carpooling with members of your social circle/bubble. Travelling is only allowed with members of your own household.
Also, while parks and trails remain open, we may see partial closings of some sections of our trail, especially any through “seasonal campgrounds”, which are closed to members of the general public. Example: through the New Lowell camp ground. 
Hopefully we will soon be able to return to a regular hiking program, but for now, as per above, groups have a limit of 10 participants. We do encourage you, however, to hike or walk on your own, or with members of your family, and enjoy our great outdoors.
Meanwhile, the Executive of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. wishes all our members a very merry Christmas, and lots of great hiking in 2021.
Frieda Baldwin President, Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.
Ph 705-245-1005

Ganaraska Hiking Trail map project survey – input required

The Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. is embarking on a new “guidebook/map” project, to compliment the Ondago smartphone app, that we launched earlier this year. 
You are invited to provide some input, as to what format this new guidebook or map should take, and we hope to have all input by Sunday, December 6.
Click on the link below to add your input. Thank you.

Ganaraska Hiking Trail map survey

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005

New Public Health Restrictions

Unfortunately at this time due to a worsening Covid-19 situation, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.  cannot allow Red Zone residents or people who work in a Red Zone (currently Toronto, York, and Peel Health Regions) to join our scheduled group hikes.  This is primarily to comply with their own local requirements to “stay home” and in the interest of protecting the safety of our other members.  We hope that this situation will not last for long, and we regret having what we feel is an obligation to impose this restriction.
This is a fluid situation, other Public Health regions may restrict movement in their areas as well. Stay informed about your local conditions and act accordingly. 
Members from these restricted red zones are however encouraged to exercise locally. 
Frieda Baldwin President, Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc.
705-245-1005

Ganaraska Baldwick Bluffs Donation

Earlier this year, the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. made a donation to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, for the purchase of the Baldwick Bluffs property in Springwater Township, through which the Ganaraska Hiking Trail runs. 

See this link for more information about the property announcement. https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/where-we-work/ontario/news/conservation-of-the-minesing.html?utm_campaign=SM_ON_1020&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=organic

The Nature Conservancy of Canada thanks the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association Inc. for our donation to the project and helping make the acquisition happen! The Friends of Minesing Wetlands will be making an announcement as well acknowledging those like Ganaraska Hiking Trail  who donated through the match fundraiser.  

Frieda Baldwin
705-245-1005

Lois Kowal Dedication Ceremony

On a sunny but cool afternoon on October 28 members of the Wasaga Beach Hiking Club gathered at Schoonertown Parkette to dedicate a bench and memorial plaque to Lois Kowal who passed away suddenly on April 7 2020. 

Lois’ family , her brother Mort and wife Donna and many other organizations were present to pay tribute to the commitment Lois had to her community and to her love of nature.

John Fisher ,Superintendent of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park and some of his staff represented the love that Lois had for the Piping Plover Program, Friends of Nancy Island Historical Society and Ontario Nature.

Marilyn Beecroft who with her husband Jim built and installed the bench,  spoke of how Lois always went over and above the call of duty to get any task that she undertook done to the best of her ability. 

Lois’ interests also extended to the local chapter of Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi and Wasaga Beach Garden Club.  

Lois was a long time member of the board of Ganaraska Hiking Club and served as the membership secretary , kept records of end to end badges and inventory of Ganaraska Hiking Trail Guide Book.  She also held these positions in the Wasaga Beach club as well as being a hike leader who had an enormous knowledge of the trails and flora and fauna found in this area.

. Many people have stepped up to replace Lois at these tasks but for the members of Wasaga Beach club Lois is irreplaceable. We will miss her tremendously. 

Irene Bell, President Wasaga Beach Hiking Club.  

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